Pastor Martin Niemöller wrote a famous poem about Nazi Germany that I think, in light of SB 1070, makes a powerful statement about what it means to be a nation. Unless everyone has rights, eventually, none of us will.
I was recently detained by the TSA for 40 minutes without shoes, documents, a cell phone, my wallet, nothing. No one would tell me what was going on, when I would be released, what protocols they were using to process me and it was clear to me that they didn’t really know what they were doing. They kept calling more and more people to show up, and from what I could see, they did little more than stare at me as though I were a terrorist.
I kept asking questions, no answers, until finally they decided me and my flip flops were not a threat to national security and they let me go. They didn’t explain to me what happened, or why, and of course didn’t apologize for the inconvenience. I was born in this country and I’ll tell you one thing, the relief I experienced when they handed me back my driver’s license is something I’ve never felt. I finally understood just a fraction of what it must feel like to live in a police state: without your papers you are nobody.
So here we are, almost 10 years after 9/11, the TSA still has no procedure for how to deal with threats. They are not effective, don’t know what they’re doing, and yet in this country we want to give police MORE power? Seems like an awfully dangerous idea to me.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.